My partner for this weekend's Association Croquet Tournament is Judy who plays in Palmerston North and with whom Colleen (one of the 'croquet girls' from Napier) and I are staying. Yesterday we had an enjoyable day in the warm sun. We managed to come second in our group.
This morning we woke to gales and torrential rain.
I think that many people think of croquet as a sport for genteel old ladies. There is a certain amount of justification for this. In New Zealand, for example, I am aware of some clubs which were started up by bowling clubs for the wives of their members because they did not allow females to play or become members. It is true that a large number of retired people play croquet - often people for whom golf has become rather onerous. However there is also a significant number of young people playing as well.
Tournament Croquet requires a certain amount of fitness - tomorrow, for example, I am scheduled to be on the lawns playing for a minimum of 8 hours (plus stops for lunch and comfort stops). During that time I will concentrate the whole of the time, probably walk around 10 kilometres and hit a ball (hopefully with accuracy over more than 20 metres) a lot of times.
The other thing about croquet is that it is usually played in all weathers provided that the lawns are not actually under water. Today, however, started with torrential rain and gales over a great deal of the North Island and the decision was taken to postpone today's play until noon when a rain check would be taken.
We haven't played today!